We were happy to welcome The Southern Sailfish Association to Sailfish Bay for their yearly tournament. This report comes to you from clients Jeff Morrow and Homer Bliss who tried something pretty exciting while fishing with us!
From Jeff Morrow & Homer Bliss
January 3, 4, 5 & 6
101 Sailfish were caught out of Sailfish Bay Lodge during the Southern Sailfish Association's Tournament in Guatemala (www.southernsailfish.org).
Twelve anglers competed in the tournament. They were Jeff Morrow (President), Homer Bliss, Chan Bliss, Dr. Sanchez, Perry Penland, Jack Kelly, Tom Edwards, Dr. Kilgore, Tom Ford, Brent Chandler, Dave Lambert, and Lonnie Dean.
The entry fee for the tournament was at least one duffle bag of vitamins, clothes, art supplies, hygiene and food to be donated to the needy in Iztapa. Robert Fallon of Sailfish Bay Lodge coordinated the distribution efforts.
Some highlights of the trip:
Dr. Terry Kilgore caught an incredibly large sailfish estimated at over 175 pounds (maybe the biggest ever in Guatemala)!
In his never ending quest for adventure, Jeff "Cap't Ductape" Morrow brought an inflatable Kayak to Guatemala in an attempt to be the first angler ever to release a Pacific sailfish caught on fly from a kayak. All of the Captains of the fleet were skeptical at the begining of the day, but after Mr. Morrow went for the first sailfish sleigh ride, the marine radios lit up, and other boats headed his way to get a look. Homer Bliss and Jeff Morrow caught two sailfish each out of a kayak. They are now running neck and neck for the World record on fly from Kayak! Many of the Captains are now jokingly talking of importing Kayaks to add to their other "gear".
Tom Edwards and Lonnie Dean somehow managed a triple on fly during their stay. 35 were caught on conventional and 66 caught on fly during the trip. Also, twenty-one dolphin were caught, four being in the 40-pound slammer range!
David Lambert and Jeff Morrow had a double on fly with the dolphin. There were one or two slow days of fishing and then two days of excellent fishing.
Sports writer, David Lambert, is writing an article about the Lodge in Sport Fishing and Fly Fishing in Saltwater.
On Day two, Gypsy had a fun day on conventional gear with 20 sailfish out of 21 bites and 13 dolphin. The Maverick with Capt. Benji had several days of excellent hook-up ratio on fly. Day four was exciting on board Sirena for brothers Homer and Chan Bliss, fishing with their cousin Brent Chandler releasing seven of ten sails for a great ending to an exciting week of fishing and fun.
Boats that participated in the tournament were Gypsy (Capt Pia), Maverick (Capt Benji), Man O War (Captain Jon Nicholas), Sirena (Capt Carlos), and Reel Escape (Capt Kiwi).
On January 6th, three groups arrived out to the coast. They included Stu Brandes & Terry King, Robert Sloan from Saltwater Sportsman, Cody Bell, Curtis Thorpe, and Dave & Maryann Rallas.
Fishing Jan 7 - 9 aboard "Maverick", Robert, Cody, and Curtis released 6 sails on fly.
Fishing Jan 7 - 10 aboard "Release" David & Maryann released 13 sails on fly.
Stu & Terry released 16 sails on fly aboard "Gypsy" and the final day on "Escape".
Jan 10 - 12 David Barton and his group arrived at Sailfish Bay. He was joined by Larry Moskoff, Don Boudreau, and John Bertucci.
Fishing aboard "Sirena" the group released 40 sailfish, 4 dorado, and 2 bonito. One of the sailfish released was a real monster!
Jan 11 - 13 John Godfrey and his group were ready to tackle the sailfish action in Guatemala. Joining John were William and Jonathan Godfrey, Jim Riser, John Weidemann, Jim Foulke, Stanley and Keith Walters.
Fishing aboard "Maverick" & "Gypsy" they released 75 sailfish, a handful of dorado, and Stanley Walters released a 250 - 300 lb. Blue marlin.
From Jan 13 - 21 we welcomed 4 more groups to Sailfish Bay that included Bill & Brent Rogers, Sean McManus & Benjamin
Hovey, John Cassidy & Ed Stein, and Jon &
Harald Sigmond from Norway.
SAILFISH BAY ANGLERS UNOFFICIALLY BREAK IGFA WORLD FLY FISHING RECORD
On Jan 16, 2005, anglers Ben Hovey fishing on "Gypsy" and Bill Rogers aboard "Maverick" released sailfish over 130 lbs each while using 20 lb tippet. The current IGFA world record for Pacific sailfish on 20 lb tippet is 130 lbs caught in Costa Rica several years ago. Both anglers released fish over 130 lbs, verified by the boat captains and mates who have experienced catching thousands of sailfish in Guatemala. The law in Guatemala prevents the killing of sailfish even for potential world records so we can only claim "unofficial" new records. Ben Hovey who lives in Rhode Island and Bill Rogers from Minnesota, were both first timers at Sailfish Bay and new to fly fishing for billfish. It was an incredible day of fishing for both and congratulations for their accomplishments.
Jan 14 - 16 Fishing aboard "Maverick" Bill & Brent released 18 sailfish, 17 of them on fly.
Jan 14 - 18 Fishing aboard "Gypsy" Sean & Ben released 23 sailfish, 8 on fly and 15 conventional and 1 jack.
Jan 14 - 19 Fishing aboard "Stratgos" Ed & John released 20 sailfish on fly.
Jan 15 - 20 Fishing aboard "Conga" Jon & Harlan released 10 sailfish, 9 of them on fly.
From Jan 18 - 25 timeframe we welcomed the Clifton Patty Party that also included Wesley Smith & Randall Peters, the Jeff Paul group that also included Tom Hormann, Chris Love, & Jerry Paul, the Brian Wright Party that also included Charles O’Quinn, Dr. Billy Ashcraft, & Steve Hammer, and Fran Azur arriving with Melanie Gefert, Dave Currier, Rick Rose, Mike Johnson, & Sam Cerverizzo.
Jan 19 - 21 Fishing aboard "Maverick" The Patty group released 9 sailfish conventional.
Jan 20 - 22 Fishing aboard "Gypsy" The Paul group released 29 sailfish conventional.
Jan 22 - 24 Fishing aboard "Maverick" The Wright group released 15 sailfish.
Jan 23 - 25 Fishing aboard "Gypsy", "Sirena", and "Conga" the Azur group released 93 sailfish.
From Jan 26 - 31 we welcomed to Sailfish Bay The John Whalen group that also included Mike Whalen, Andy Doyle, & Jim Ahern, Lou Elorza and his party that included Michael Lofthus, Larry Flatt, Kevin McAlea, & Ray Kayser, and The Tom Tomfohdre party that also included Herbert Koepke Jr., and Clinton Lauer.
Jan 26 - 27 Fishing aboard "Maverick" The Whalen group released 22 sailfish conventional and a 400 lb Blue marlin that took over 2 hours to land.
Jan 28 - 30 Fishing aboard "Gypsy" and "Full Circle" the Elorza group released 10 sailfish on fly.
Jan 28 - 31 Fishing aboard "Maverick" The Tomfohdre group released 39 sailfish conventional.